Proven Casino Marketing & Advertising Tactics
Casino advertising supports customer retention and drives new business. Learn how your business can maximize profits with these casino marketing ideas.
In a world of high-rollers and those blessed with beginner’s luck, marketing and advertising for your casino doesn’t have to be a gamble.
Our e-book, “Taking Off: Understanding Today’s Leisure Traveler,” found that 94% of Americans plan leisure travel in the next 12 months, and the average number of overnight trips planned is 4. Now is the perfect time for casinos to double down on marketing and advertising to bring in these tourists, get heads in beds, and increase the odds of hitting the jackpot.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go all-in, looking at the nuances of casino marketing and advertising, delving into the strategies, channels, and creative ideas that drive success.
An Overview of the Casino Industry
According to Forbes, “The nation’s casinos and mobile gaming apps rang up a record $54.93 billion in revenue during the first 11 months of 2022.” This bounce-back success is partly due to the rebound we’re seeing post-pandemic – and the findings of “Understanding Today’s Leisure Traveler” confirm this idea, as 2 in 5 respondents consider travel and tourism more important today compared to pre-2020.
Forbes also found that America has quickly become the “sports betting capital of the world,” and “Slot machines and table games generated the most revenue out of any other form of gambling.” Our findings suggest that rest and relaxation are the top motivators for travel, and casinos are capitalizing. Additionally, we found that travel motivations also include:
- Older generations tend to travel to check places off a bucket list,
- Younger generations want experiences that contribute to their overall identity.
- Social media inspires 75% to travel to a specific destination
- 48% want to travel somewhere they can show off on social media
Casinos offer all these things, making it a perfect destination for international, domestic, and hometown tourists alike.
What is Casino Marketing?
How will your brand capture these travelers wanting rest, relaxation, and a destination they can post on social media?
A well-executed marketing strategy helps casinos communicate their unique offerings, differentiate themselves from competitors, and create lasting impressions that keep customers returning for the buy-in. From traditional methods to cutting-edge digital campaigns, casino marketing is a multifaceted endeavor that requires careful planning and execution that involves crafting compelling messages, selecting the proper marketing channels, and creating memorable experiences that resonate with the target audience.
Why is Casino Marketing Important?
Effective marketing is a game-changer in a competitive landscape where casinos vie for customers’ attention. It serves as a bridge between the casino and its patrons, building trust, fostering loyalty, and driving revenue.
Plus, with travel and tourism rebounding in a big way, marketing and advertising campaigns are a great way to capitalize on this demand and bring in new and returning patrons, no matter what time of year.
How to Create a Media Plan for Casinos
Crafting a strategic media plan is essential to maximize the impact of your casino’s marketing efforts. Understanding the insights in “Understanding Today’s Leisure Traveler” is essential to understanding target audiences, which helps brands develop creative that resonates, increase brand awareness and sales, create better products and services, and discover new opportunities for business growth.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a tailored media plan, based on these insights, that resonates with your target audience:
Understand Your Target Audience
The first step in creating a successful media plan is deeply understanding your target audience – demographics, preferences, and behaviors to inform your messaging and channel selection.
When it comes to spending on travel:
- 76% expect inflation to impact travel in the coming year, therefore
- 1 in 3 are changing travel plans, staying close to home in response to inflation
- 3 in 5 are swayed by deals and discounts when booking travel
- More travelers are booking directly with vendors to access benefits, like loyalty perks and special offers, and to avoid extra fees
- Top-notch service is always expected, even in the absence of a five-star hotel rating
Want to know more about the specific demographics of these travel-intenders? Download “Understanding Today’s Leisure Traveler” for a deep dive into their demographics.
Choose the Right Channels
Next, you’ll want to determine where and how your target audience consumes media. These include television, OTT/streaming platforms, podcasts, digital advertising, and email campaigns.
We’ve found that travel video content is reliably popular, as 83% of Americans watch some form of travel content: Reviews (44%), social media videos (41%), ads (23%), and local news (20%).
Local news is an exciting option to explore, as viewers rely on local news stations to educate them about nearby tourist activities (59%) and the latest travel trends (44%). Viewers are also more likely to trust travel recommendations from local news over national news.
According to a 2022 study by Gallup and Knight Foundation on trust in media, high emotional trust in local news organizations was double that of national news counterparts. Additionally, Trust extends to brands that advertise within local news content, and local news viewers are likelier to notice those brands.
Deal the Right Creative
Invest in visually appealing and high-quality creative assets that capture the essence of your casino experience.
Focus on Relaxation: Americans travel for wellness – to reduce stress, relax, and improve their mood. Casinos will do well to highlight that the whole process, from initial booking to returning home, is free of worry and aggravation.
Appeal to Hometown Tourists: More Americans participate in activities closer to home to mitigate inflationary pressures. Tourist attractions that typically cater to out-of-town visitors can attract locals by promoting special exclusive discounts for residents.
Five-Star Messaging: Offering top-notch customer service and cleanliness are cornerstones of the travel and tourism industry. More than ever, travel intenders rely on reviews to drive their decision-making. By utilizing real reviews and testimonials in messaging, your brand can showcase specific ways you exceed expectations, assuaging concerns around declining service levels.
Bring Friends & Family Together: Reconnecting with friends and family will motivate more Americans to travel in the coming year. If your casino offers group discounts and/or spaces for large gatherings, messaging around these kinds of accommodations is recommended.
The Power of Video, Trust & Scale: Travel video content is undeniably popular. As a marketing medium, video has unmatched power to provoke feelings of wanderlust. Video’s ability to influence travel planning and purchase intent reinforces the need for a holistic video strategy.
- Interested in more best practices for crafting the perfect ad creative? Click here to see tips and tricks from one of TEGNA’s best.
Test and Refine
When you’ve got a hot hand, you’ll likely let it roll. When you’re down and out, you need to know when to walk away. Marketing campaigns face a similar concept, except you can count the cards.
Use measurement tools like TEGNA Attribution and Google Analytics to know when you’re up or down. These tools will help you collect data, analyze metrics, and refine your strategy based on real-time feedback. Know which media works and what channels or creative are a bust.
Be sure to monitor the performance of your chosen marketing channels constantly. Adapt your plan to capitalize on successful tactics and improve those that need enhancement.
Best Marketing Channels For Casinos
The casino industry benefits from various marketing channels catering to different customer preferences. Here are some effective channels to consider:
Did you know that broadcast TV reaches 70% of casino visitors weekly? Television advertisements allow you to visually showcase the excitement and luxury of your casino experience to a broad audience. Consider partnering with trustworthy local news organizations to amplify your message at scale with linear TV. Sales-friendly lifestyle programming can further elevate your message with opportunities for on-location or long-form segments.
As viewing habits evolve, it’s best practice to combine a linear TV campaign with streaming OTT. Contrary to popular belief, the two platforms don’t work against each other but act as perfect complementary pieces. Streaming offers reach extension, increased brand awareness, advanced targeting options, retargeting, the flexibility to make optimizations, and helps to maximize ROI while capturing viewers who have shifted away from traditional TV. Learn more about the advantages of combining linear and streaming for your marketing campaign.
Sports betting is all the rage, and podcasts – such as the Locked On Podcast Network – have a daily podcast for every NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL team, plus more than 60 of the most prominent colleges and major college conferences. Casinos seem to be a natural fit for sponsoring and advertising on relevant podcasts to connect with audiences personally and tap into specific interests. Learn more about the advantages of podcast advertising with Locked On.
Like streaming campaigns, digital marketing can also act as the perfect complement to TV campaigns. Consider adding the following to your marketing mix:
- Local News Websites: Local News is a trusted co-pilot in travel planning, and they don’t just publish news on-air. Stations also have websites and apps that offer excellent real estate for digital video, display, banner ads, and native advertising to hook travelers.
- Contextual Advertising: Contextual advertising delivers relevant ads to users based on their activity and online content viewing. For example, if you’re reading an article on “how to play poker” and see a display ad for a nearby casino, you’ve been served contextual advertising.
- Geofencing: With geofencing, you can draw a virtual fence around specific areas, such as your casino location (or a competing casino’s location), and target those within that specific location with ads, offers, and promotions. Learn more about the ins and outs of geofencing here.
5 Casino Marketing Ideas
Based on the findings in “Understanding Today’s Leisure Traveler,” there are some other creative ideas to elevate your casino marketing strategy:
1. Sports, Sports, Sports
Did you know NFL viewers are 36% more likely to have participated in casino gambling in the last 12 months? Newly released NFL guidelines allow casinos to have a stronger presence in NFL programming, and a multiplatform campaign with broadcast, streaming, and digital elements could be the jackpot in reaching an interested and engaged audience.
2. Advertise via Local Events
Sponsor or host local events to engage with the community and create memorable experiences. This can easily be done by partnering with your local news station.
3. Rewards Programs & Theme Nights
Implement rewards programs that incentivize customer loyalty and repeat visits. Organize themed events to add an extra layer of excitement to the casino experience.
4. Social Media Promotions
Utilize social media platforms for engaging promotions, contests, and giveaways that encourage interaction. You can also repurpose video content to help get this messaging to a broader audience.
5. Community and Influencer Partnerships
Collaborate with local influencers and community leaders to expand your reach and credibility. This can also be easily done by partnering with your local news station.
Casino Advertising Examples
Let’s look at real-life casino advertising success stories from TEGNA partners. These examples highlight how strategic marketing can drive engagement and results in the casino industry.
KARE 11 Adds Creative Touches to Bring Casinos New Visitors
“We use insights for anything and everything with our partners, whether placement or creative pieces, and I’ve found some really interesting stories,” says Joanie Kraus, Director of Sales at TEGNA’s KARE 11. “We researched the ideal consumer for one of our casino partners and found that many people who visit casinos here in Minnesota are also avid gardeners.”
“In their ad, they added little gardening elements. It seemed totally random, but they found it extremely effective and led to a lift in attendance and revenue because the creative resonated with those people.”
Kraus adds, “It’s all about who the consumer is and really diving deep into that target audience, then threading the needle in very different ways to build those relationships and generate trust.”
Fan Duel, Underdog Fantasy & Locked On Podcast Network
The level of passion we see from NFL fans is nearly impossible to recreate, and that passion is good news for brands that advertise within Locked On’s sports podcasts. Just take a look at the numbers:
- 49% of listeners believe hosts use the products they mention in the show, providing instant trust and credibility
- Podcast listeners enjoy the ads they hear within their podcast, delivering the lowest skip rate across every medium, at only 12%.
- 86% of people who frequently listen to podcasts say they recall ads on podcasts more than any other channel
- 65% of avid podcast listeners say they have purchased a product or service from a brand they heard advertised on a podcast.
Putting Your Casino Marketing & Advertising Tactics into Motion with TEGNA
Now that you have insights into casino marketing strategies and creative ideas, it’s time to take action and double down on your marketing and advertising.
With TEGNA, we ensure you’re dealt a winning hand with creative, end-to-end video experiences delivered to a travel-minded audience in any city you want to draw from. We can even measure clear ROI from any campaign, including how many people visit, how long they stay, and where they travel from.
Don’t roll the dice. Let’s get in touch today and cash out tomorrow.